Allegations of Abuse in Institutions

Salvation Army Homes - Main Index

Index 2003 (Sept-Dec)

One News
October 13 2003

Salvation Army's choice questioned

There are claims of a conflict of interest in the Salvation Army's investigation into child abuse after the organisation appointed former Children's Commissioner to review the allegations.

Roger McClay has been appointed by the Salvation Army to look into the dozens of allegations, but a number who claim they were abused as children while in the care of the Salvation Army, are questioning McClay's independence.

Jan Lowe, a former children's home resident, welcomed the appointment of McClay, but since then Lowe and other alleged victims of abuse have discovered McClay's fees will be paid by the Salvation Army.

Lowe says the perception is that McClay is now part of the Salvation Army mechanism. Because of this Lowe's group does not want to deal with him, which has disappointed the Salvation Army.

Commissioner Shaw Clifton of the Salvation Army says McClay has a proven record of integrity as a public servant and has sound and independent judgement.

But McClay agrees with the alleged victims that there could be the appearance of a conflict of interest. McClay hopes that the problem can be overcome by another agency paying expenses.

Victims are also concerned that two people accused of child sexual abuse in the past are still working as part of the Salvation Army's management team

Clifton says they are still investigating the claim and are seeking clarity on the issue with the people involved.

However, McClay says that is not satisfactory and the people need to be confronted immediately.

McClay hopes his initial work will be completed in a few months